Donald Trump was accepting the Republican nomination for president on Thursday, promising to put an end to “violence in our streets,” and outside Quicken Loans Arena, four protesters sat beaten – their papier-mache pig confiscated – playing a version of duck-duck-goose.
Before the Republican National Convention opened here this week, conjecture ran to riots, quieting after three days of relative calm to an uneasiness, if not the expectation, that forces of unrest might be saving it all up for the end.
But by the time on Thursday that Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president, the same social forces that gave air to his law-and-order speech – heightened anxiety about terrorism, immigration, police shootings and attacks on law enforcement – had failed to spark an eruption outside of the convention hall.
“All right guys, right this way,” an officer said, opening a lane in the security line to accommodate Turner Fair, of Cleveland, who was carrying the Trump-like pig. When Fair appeared to accidentally bump the officer with the prop, he said, “Oh, my God, I’m sorry,” and when a street performer complained that his protest was getting in the way of his business enterprise, Fair handed him a bill.
Such was the closing night of the convention, with considerable disruption inside Quicken Loans Arena – from controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s nomination and the impertinence of Ted Cruz to a protester who made it into the arena for Trump’s speech – but little unrest on the streets.
Only when Fair attached the pig to a light pole did a police officer take it down. Surrounded by fellow officers and chased by Fair, he walked the pig a few blocks to a waiting police car and put it in the back seat.
As the car left, Fair shouted, “Donald, we’ll get you out!”